As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve now hit the funding gap between the current and the next health disparity network awards. As of tomorrow, the Network will no longer be staffed until we hear (hopefully!) that we’ve been chosen as one of the next round of disparity networks. We expect this news to come in one to two months. Until then, Scout, the stalwart Steering Committee, and Daniella will be checking in every so often to keep the dust from gathering. This Network started with the efforts of amazing volunteers, so this is just a bit of going back to our roots. Good news is we think we’ve submitted a very strong proposal for the next round of funding so are optimistic we’ll be restaffed in a month or two.
Sadder news for us is our project manager, the amazing Gustavo Torrez, has decided he’s heading off for firmer ground. I don’t think there’s a person who’s interacted with the Network who could fail to realize just what a gem Gustavo is. He’s been in tobacco control since he was 12 years old! He’s long been a fearless youth advocate, is a force of nature when he presents, and can make hugely complicated events like our summit come off so smoothly we almost forget how hard we worked before he came on board. As he activly looks for his next career venture he will be working on a special project with Fenway and his email (firstname.lastname@example.org) will still be active for the next three months so feel free to drop him a note. In addition, we have some active sub-contracts that Gustavo will still be involved with as well so he is not fully leaving us. We shall miss Gustavo dearly, but we have faith he will stay one of the leaders to watch in tobacco control.
Changes aren’t always easy, but hold tight, the Network is much more than a few staff, plus we’re planning some great new things come Fall.